One may think that the Smithsonian, which comprises of seventeen museums and the National Zoo in DC,
might not be greatly affected by the government shutdown because there is no admission fee, but these institutions are in fact suffering. The National Gallery of Art and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum were also closed. In addition to not receiving government funds during the shutdown, which appropriate 70 percent of their money, museums are unable to raise private funds, where the other 30 percent comes from, during this time. This is why, for example, the prime minister of Greece, who co-sponsored an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, was unable to visit the museum this past week. However, The Washington Post reported that “about 10 percent of Smithsonian employees are reporting to work, and some of these employees are paid though private trust accounts.” Similarly, necessary employees were still working at the Zoo in order to feed and take care of the animals. However, the live broadcasting of the baby panda wasn’t on during the shutdown.
Most of the money that the Smithsonian lost was the money that comes through the gift shops and restaurants everyday. However, if the shutdown continues, or if there are future shutdowns lasting much longer than it did, it could have “[led] some patrons to send their gifts to the Met or MoMA,” according to
The Washington Post.
Thankfully the government re-opened and Goucher students could enjoy all DC has to offer for free over fall break.